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International Day Against Drug Abuse/Trafficking

International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

Combat Criminalization of World Politics with Priority

by Mohan Nepali, Kathmandu:
26 June 2007

Today is the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. While the governments, NGOs and INGOs will be bringing out their well-structured statements about drug problems and possible measures to cope with them, millions of youths will at the same time have been using drugs and deviating from a life based on rational human ideals. According to the United Nations World Drug Report 2004, nearly 185 million people (almost three percent of the world population) abuse drugs. As the criminalization of world politics is alarmingly growing, the rates of drug abuse and drug trafficking in must have increased by the same ratio. Especially where politically labeled criminal armed groups are more active, the smuggling of illicit drugs naturally keeps on rising year by year.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes has talked about drug abuse and drug demand reduction. It has talked about drug supply reduction. It has equally talked about terrorism, corruption, human trafficking and crimes as connected to drug abuse and trafficking. But surprisingly, it has never talked about the nexus between top political leaderships and drug lords as the fundamental factor for continuation of global drug industry.

Criminalization of politics worldwide is the primary cause behind the unhindered growth in drug crimes despite voluminous paper commitments against them.

Although the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice formulates international policies and recommends activities in the field of crime control, this work is not possible without the applied political will and the moral integrity of political leaderships.

In this context, international actions to combat national and transnational crimes, including organized crimes, economic crimes and money laundering, promoting the role of criminal laws, preventing crimes in urban areas (juvenile crime and violence included), and improving the efficiency and fairness of criminal justice systems have been globally put forward as prioritized efforts. But the outcome is not encouraging because of criminalization of politics at every unit. Most of the crimes in the world have been openly protected by political leaderships. There is no need of laboratory tests to accuse corrupt and criminal-minded political leaderships. Bare eyes have seen them. Even justice has become a matter of open purchase. Innumerable state scandals in almost all countries serve us as the open evidence.

In 1998, all the nations of the world expressed their commitment through the General Assembly to fight against drug-related crimes. They unanimously admitted to the fact that drugs destroy lives and communities, undermine sustainable human development and generate crimes. They have even agreed on how drugs affect all sectors of society in all countries. There has been no disagreement among nations regarding the long-term impact of drug abuse on the freedom and development of young people.

Drugs have been formally perceived as a grave threat to the health and well-being of all mankind, democracy, the stability of nations, the structure of all societies, and the dignity and hope of millions of people and their families. Bearing all these facts, the UN General Assembly felt the need to accept the fight against drug crimes as a common and shared responsibility. For this, nations have agreed on domestic and international strategies.

Despite all such commitments and claimed efforts against trafficking in of drugs and related crimes, the world has not found encouraging results. Instead, ordinary people as well as strong advocates against drug trafficking in and related crimes have been insecure because of the increasing influence of criminals in political power.

In the 21st century as well, some kind of opium war is going on. In the earlier centuries, colonialist nations used it as a strategy of destroying the youth vigor, distorting it and capturing more territories. But today, smuggling gangs, well-connected with and protected by political power, have been carrying on opium wars in various forms. Therefore, combating this problem must not mean organizing ceremonies on occasions and publishing or broadcasting statements. Combating the problem of drug abuse, drug trafficking in and related crimes, in fact, means combating corrupt and criminalized political leaderships.


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